In a press release today, Emergent BioSolutions announced a partnership with AstraZeneca in the production of the company's ASD1222 vaccine for COVID-19. The ASD1222 vaccine is the company's "viral, vector-based, weakeded version of adenovirus containing the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein developed by Oxford University’s Jenner institute working with the Oxford Vaccine Group".
This vaccine is among several candidates in the final five selected companies in the United States' Operation "Warp Speed." OWS is a program by the Trump administration targeting an accelerated production timeline for the vaccine with financial and infrastructure support to qualifying companies.
“By partnering with leading innovators like AstraZeneca, Emergent is playing a critical role in increasing the world’s chances of having a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine,” said Robert G. Kramer Sr., president and chief executive officer of Emergent BioSolutions. “We are proud to provide our CDMO services to advance AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate. With this agreement, we bring to our facilities two of the five leading candidates being developed with U.S. government funding."
The agreement is valued at about $87M. Emergent, working from its Gaithersburg, Maryland product development facility, will provide AstraZeneca with "development services, technology transfer, analytical testing, drug substance process, and performance qualification and will will reserve certain large-scale manufacturing capacity through 2020."
“As both a manufacturer of our own vaccines and a service provider, Emergent is uniquely equipped to take on the integral role of development and manufacturing partner to companies like AstraZeneca with lead vaccine candidates for COVID-19,” said Syed T. Husain, senior vice president and CDMO business unit head at Emergent. “We have spent decades establishing a strong, integrated CDMO network that allows us to dependably and consistently produce life-saving medicines for our company and for others worldwide.”